"The Holy Pursuit"
The natural human condition involves our hiding from God (as if such a thing is possible). The supernatural Divine condition involves God seeking us for the purpose of redeeming us from our sins.
"And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?" (Genesis 3:8-9).
The "hide and seek" scenario that began in Adam and Eve continues unto this day in the relationship between God and humanity. Unbelievers do not seek the Lord Jesus Christ. "There is none that seeketh after God" (Romans 3:11). Thus, He seeks for them. "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me" (John 12:32). The Good Shepherd ventures forth to find those who flee from Him, as depicted by the poet Francis Thompson:
"I fled Him, down the nights and down the days, I fled Him, down the arches of the years, I fled Him down the labyrinthine ways of my own mind. And in the mist of tears, I hid from Him…. Those strong Feet that followed, followed after…. with unhurrying chase, and unperturbèd pace, deliberate speed, majestic instancy, They beat. And a Voice beat more instant than the Feet: 'All things betray thee, who betrayest Me' " (From "The Hound of Heaven").
After conversion, our redeemed and Christ-inhabited spirits long to seek after God - "I delight in the law of God after the inward man" (Romans 7:22). However, our humanity inherited from Adam is still prone to hide - "But with the flesh the law of sin" (Romans 7:22; 25). We must realize this about both ourselves and our flesh. In every truly born again believer, the Holy Spirit works within to foster and enable loving fellowship with our Heavenly Father. "It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). This part of us, the very heart of us in Christ, seeks rather than hides. However, the remnants of fleeing Adam remain with us - "the flesh lusteth against the spirit" (Galatians 5:17). The conflict is real and we can sometimes find ourselves still hiding in the trees with our forefathers. However, our truest delight as believers is to respond to God's delight in our presence and fellowship. "When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face, my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek" (Psalm 27:8).
Again, we must know and believe such Truth to be true regarding the conflict, but even more, regarding the fact that in the innermost depths of our spirits, hide and seek no longer applies. The Christ who ever seeks His Father dwells within us to engage our hearts and minds for our own experience of the holy pursuit. Even before Christ, amid the spiritual limitations of Old Testament saints, the Psalmist realized such grace and its holy and heart changing effect:
"One thing have I desired of the Lord. That will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple" (Psalm 27:4).
Such inclination for the holy pursuit far more characterizes New Testament and Spirit-inhabited believers. Regardless of whether we know it, believe it, or experience it, the presence of the Pursuer dwells within us to motivate and enable our reciprocal quest to seek rather than hide. Let us then know, believe, and experience this truth of grace in the Lord Jesus, and grace in us through the indwelling Holy Spirit.
"Reckon ye also yourselves to be… alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
"For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."
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